One of the biggest estate planning questions, for many adult children, is what they should do with their parents' home.
When you start your estate planning, it's important to first outline your goals. What do you want your estate plan to accomplish? What is most important to you? How can you make a plan that meets those goals and then builds on top of them?
When writing a will and doing estate planning, people often carefully consider how long they think they will live. After all, you need to do long-term care planning and you need to consider how many assets will really remain when you pass away. There's a careful balance here. Your estate has to support you at the end of your life, and you also want to give whatever remains to your heirs.
Do you have friends who have told you that the main focus of their estate planning is simply to reduce the estate taxes that their heirs will need to pay? It's a serious concern for some people, and they go to great lengths to cut back on the tax burden. They just want to give their heirs an inheritance that they'll enjoy.
You always assumed that your estate planning would be simple when it came to your family business. You were going to leave it to your children. They could run it just as successfully as you did.
When people are asked what the first step is to pass their home on to their children, they often think about the financial side. They assume that they need to find out what the home is worth in the current market or what the taxes will look like if they give the house to the kids.
Many parents see their children through rose-colored glasses. They only see the best in them. When it comes to how the children relate to each other, they assume that they'll always get along.
You have not always lived in California. When your own parents passed away, you remember that they had to pay estate taxes in their state, and it really cost them. As you start doing your own estate planning decades later, you wonder if you will need to pay these taxes to California.
When you decide to get divorced, it means that much of the estate plan you created with your former spouse no longer applies. Some things may still work -- leaving assets to your children, for instance -- but it is time to take a look at all of the documents and make sure they have been properly updated to reflect the fact that you are now single.
If you are an art collector, odds are that your collection is one of the most valuable things that you own. Not only does it have a lot of sentimental value, but you have invested time and money into it. It could be worth more than your home. You absolutely need to make sure that you work it into your estate plan, along with your other assets.